Homeschooling for Toddlers

Disclaimer: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission from, at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You may read my full disclaimer here.

Is it necessary to formally “homeschool” your toddler? No!

Toddlers are learning all day, every day without a dedicated or rigorous learning schedule or plan. They learn by watching those around them, playing, practicing new skills verbally and physically, being exposed to new experiences such as foods and places, etc.

So why do I “homeschool” my toddler? Because he wants me to!

He has watched me teach his older siblings for the past two years, and his desire to learn just like them is evident. He asks to do school with me every day, and is engaged when I do spend that time with him.

This became apparent to me over the summer of 2022, and I spent several days before we started our school year in the fall making a toddler busy binder for him. I keep all of the interactive pages in a 3″ binder, and any extra activities or books in a basket (this one is similar, and cuter!), that lives on our bookshelf. I remove or add in pages as needed, so it’s always changing.

His busy binder is divided into sections that include colors, shapes, matching, numbers, and phonics/letters.

I initially “planned” on spending about 15 minutes a day with him. That hasn’t exactly worked out how I wanted with the workload I have with his older siblings, but I do try to do some activities with him 2-3 times a week, whether it is with the busy binder or something more hands on, and he seems to be satisfied with that.

Here is how he does school.

First, we start off with some music. He was gifted these fun wooden instruments that he uses when we do some sing/dance along songs, and he has a blast with it. I like to use Ms. Rachel on YouTube, or anyone that has sing along or dance along songs for toddlers. He will do four or five sings, while I prepare his activities for him.

Yes, we school in our pajamas. Because why not?!

I don’t have a set plan for what I do with him, I just pull out activities that he either hasn’t done in awhile, or that are new for him. Most of these are free printables I found online.

The lineup
Some scissor and cutting practice. I read that learning to cut is easier for kids when the paper is smaller, making it easier for them to handle and maneuver it. I’d say it’s been effective for my little guy.
This was a new activity for him this day and it was so cute to see him put the bandaids on the bear’s “boo boos” while practicing letter sounds. He loved this one!
Shadow matching is so easy for him and yet he still enjoys it!
It fascinates me how amazing kids are at matching games. It’s one of my favorite things to do with my kids.
This isn’t a great photo, but you can find this free activity here. This is a crowd favorite around here, and helps develop those fine motor skills.
We love our counting bears. They’re great for color patterns too! My toddler picked up on this skill pretty quickly, and we gradually have moved to increasingly difficult patterns as he progresses.
We end our time together with a read aloud. I try to pick a variety of books, but he’s an opinionated toddler and likes to pick his own, so this day it was an I Spy book.

And that’s it! All together we end up spending 10-20 minutes together, time depending on how long I allow for music, and how interested he is in it all. Some days he will complete all of the activities, other days he isn’t as interested and we don’t work together as long. It’s very go-with-the-flow. Nothing is forced upon him, it is purely interest led.

Below are some other activities we have done together. We don’t do everything every time we sit down together. And yes, still in pajamas ; )

I found this holiday pack on Etsy that I did with my toddler around Christmas time, and we both enjoyed it. Here he did some size sorting.
Color sorting
More letter sound practice. I teach letter sounds first before letter name recognition.
Tracing! He’s come a long way with this in the short amount of time we’ve done “school” together. It’s truly impressive! And yes I’ve tried to get him to do this on the table, he prefers the floor, haha.

These are the main topics and types of activities I do with him, along with hands on fun like his sand table, play doh, and kinetic sand. There are SO MANY free resources available online that allow me to be able to do these activities with him, for FREE. I wouldn’t say I’m the most creative person when it’s time to put together activities for him, but I sure can look up ideas and support other mommas that have a knack for creating these resources.

Would you do these with your toddler?

Let me know below! And, as always, thanks for being here!

Leave a Reply

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close